Wartburg's Comprehensive Academic Support Program
The Pathways Center coordinates academic advising and support services. The center serves as a clearinghouse for questions about academic advising, choosing majors, academic support services, careers, vocation, and graduate and professional school. The Pathways Center is located on the third floor in Vogel Library.
Faculty advisers are the primary source of academic support for students. Advisers meet periodically with students to help plan academic programs and evaluate career choices and goals. Advisers are assigned at registration, based on students' areas of academic interest. Students may change advisers any time by contacting the Registrar's Office or the Pathways Center. Specially trained advisers work with undecided students to help them explore a variety of possible majors. Students who declare more than one major work with an adviser in each major.
Options for Exploring Majors
Pathways peers help students identify and make connections between majors and career possibilities. These peers provide assistance with interpreting self-assessment data on interests, personality traits, values, and skills, and interpreting the college catalog. They answer questions about scheduling basics and facilitate work with faculty advisers.
Graduate and Professional School Advising
Pathways staff assist students in accessing information on preparing for, applying to, and being accepted into graduate or professional schools. The Pathways Center maintains a collection of reference materials on a wide variety of professional and graduate schools.
Mentoring and Discernment
The Pathways Center offers a variety of programs and services to help students, alumni, staff, and faculty form strong mentoring relationships and explore the connections among faith, values, work, and life. Members of the Wartburg community are invited to participate in formal mentoring programs, informal discussion groups, retreats, speakers, professional development, and other programs designed to explore concepts of vocation.
Testing and Disability Services
Testing and Disability Services schedules, administers, and processes a variety of tests, including CLEP tests, MA 90 tests, departmental challenge exams, and correspondence exams. Testing and Disability Services offers information and strategies on preparing for Praxis, Graduate Record Exams, and pre-professional exams (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, etc.). Academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities are also coordinated through Testing and Disability Services.
The First-Year Experience program supports students in their first year at Wartburg by providing opportunities to enhance their academic and interpersonal abilities as they make the transition to college and join the community of Wartburg scholars.
ORIENTATION AND EARLY TRANSITION ACTIVITIES
- Summer Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) Day Programs for students and parents
- Orange EXCELeration-Fall Orientation facilitated by students trained in student development
- Team-building experiences for new students
- Mentoring of new students by Orange EXCELeration faculty mentors and College Achievement Program upper-class students
ONGOING SOCIAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES
- First-year residence halls with programming to meet first-year student needs
- Finals Week study breaks and study awards
- Resources on Pathways and Residential Life Web pages
- New student and advising newsletters
- Communications with parents of first-year students
- First-year listserv
ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION
- Early identification of students needing academic assistance and individual academic counseling
- Workshops and one-on-one assistance to help students develop good time-management skills, test-taking strategies, and effective note-taking methods. Resources on college reading, writing, and other strategies to promote college success
- Integration of content relevant to making the transition to college and a liberal arts education into the first-year curriculum: EN 111 English Composition , IS 101 Asking Questions, Making Choices , , and LS 101 Learning Strategies
- Advisers trained in student development and first-year student needs
- First-year honor society to recognize academic accomplishments of new students
Career and Vocation Services
Wartburg maintains a strong commitment to career and vocation education. Career and Vocation Services helps students assess their personal interests, skills, and values. Matching these assessments with academic interests and workplace outlook helps students plan realistic career and life goals.
To assist students in self-assessment and skill identification, Career and Vocation Services provides a variety of interest and personality assessments, a computer-assisted major and career exploration program, seminars, and individual counseling.
After students can articulate career-related values and skills, the staff helps them focus on specific jobs and careers. A resource library includes information on specific careers, career education, summer employment, overseas opportunities, and internships.
Career and Vocation Services also works with the Center for Community Engagement and academic departments to assist students in gaining practical exposure to the world of work. Pathways peers and professional staff help students prepare résumés and application letters and develop effective interviewing skills.
When students begin looking for jobs, Career and Vocation Services offers job boards, employer networking opportunities, on-campus interview programs, employer and graduate school directories, and much more.
The Mathematics Lab offers students enrolled in Essential Education Mathematics courses the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained tutor with advanced knowledge in mathematics.
Supplemental Instruction (SI)
The Supplemental Instruction program offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-facilitated study sessions to all students enrolled in the courses selected by individual departments. SI sessions are informal seminars in which participants compare notes, discuss ideas, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. The sessions are led by students who have successfully completed the courses and taken special SI training. Sessions begin during the first week of the term and are offered at least once each week. Information about Supplemental Instruction is available from the Pathways Center and on the Pathways Center Web site.
The Writing/Reading/Speaking Lab provides individual and group tutorials to assist writers at any stage of the composing process: generating ideas, focusing a thesis for a specific audience, drafting, developing content, revising and editing, and documenting sources using MLA, APA, and other styles. The lab provides help for students who wish to improve their reading comprehension and retention. Peers also offer feedback on speech organization, development, documentation, and delivery.
The Robert and Sally Vogel Library is the place on campus to explore diverse resources and special collections, engage in scholarship and study with the Wartburg community, work with knowledgeable and supportive library staff, and find a wide variety of spaces for learning and collaboration. All these attributes support student success and the library's mission of educating information-literate, lifelong learners.
Vogel Library's resources are found in three basic categories. Many of these resources are accessible from off-campus:
- DATABASES: Students have access to over 50 online databases through which they can read articles, study images, or stream music and video.
- RESEARCH GUIDES: To facilitate student learning, librarians create customized web pages, called research guides, to be used for help in studying for classes and within disciplines.
- COLLECTIONS: Finally, Vogel Library's collections support multiple avenues and levels of student need. Learners may use the more traditional resources such as books, eBooks, journals, DVDs, and CDs, or they may venture into more specialized collections: world music instruments, curriculum materials, or two featured collections: Wartburg College Archives and the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting.
- Wartburg College Archives: Located on the third floor of the Vogel Library, the College Archives documents and preserves Wartburg College's history and connects alumni, faculty, staff, and students to the institution's rich heritage.
- Archives of Iowa Broadcasting: The Vogel Library is home to the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting (AIB), a permanent collection of materials relating to the history, development and contribution of radio and television in Iowa. The AIB preserves this important piece of Iowa history and makes it accessible for current and future study.
The librarians and staff at Vogel Library work together and with the campus community to support information-seeking of all types, with a focus on successful academic research. The library leads Wartburg's Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) program, part of the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education, and embraces the national Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In support of the mission, librarians collaborate with classroom faculty to introduce and foster information literacy skills, such as finding, using, synthesizing, and critically evaluating information. These interactions may occur during classroom instruction, at the reference desk, and in individual consultations. Vogel Librarians interact with students at three key stages in their disciplinary development in information literacy:
- NOVICE STEPS: Introducing students to basic concepts of inquiry and information-seeking, which include development of information literacy skills and growing awareness of library resources to support student success in an academic environment.
- STEPPING STONES: Introduction to discipline-specific resources; building from basic to more complex concepts of information literacy and the role this plays in helping learners develop dispositions toward critical inquiry.
- MASTER STEPS: Mastery of discipline-specific resources and reinforcement of information literacy principles that will continue beyond the college setting.
Vogel Library's librarians work closely with students to help them achieve their full potential. As a second-year student noted, "Librarians exceed the expectations; they make sure to take the time to help us with assignments and even set up follow-up meetings to be sure we get everything we need. An A+ for the great job!"
To support students' study needs as they engage with Wartburg's challenging curriculum, the library offers a range of technology. Located on the first floor, the Curriculum Studio Classroom has 25 iMac computers that are available for student use when classes are not in session. The second floor offers 45 thin client windows computers with productivity software as well as 8 PCs with specialty software and assistive technology. On the third floor, students will find smart study rooms with digital displays and a presentation practice room with video capture and a 60 inch digital display.
Vogel Library was designed as a 21st century "Learner's Library," which means it provides a wide variety of spaces to meet the learning needs of our diverse and inquisitive student body. Spaces are designed to encourage:
- COLLABORATING: Today's work world is structured around collaboration, and undergraduate assignments follow this lead. Vogel Library's 22 group study rooms come in a range of sizes to suit all manners of collaboration, including one presentation practice room equipped with a 60-inch digital display flat panel screen with video capture capabilities. For further presentation practice or larger group study sessions, two contained library classrooms and an open studio classroom are available for use when no class is in session.
- STUDYING: For working alone or with others, there are study tables throughout the library in open areas or private spaces. In addition, individual study rooms are available, and for those who crave distraction free study areas, designated quiet zones are also available.
- RELAXING: The library supports both academic work and taking a break from the rigors of the classroom. Grab a snack and a drink from the Konditorei coffee shop, and chat with friends or browse the library's relaxation materials-DVDs, music CDs, featured new books, and the young adult fiction collection.
- CONSORTIA: The Cedar Valley Library Consortium and the Iowa Private Academic Libraries consortium allow the College to access scholarly resources more affordably by sharing catalogs and resources.
- INTERLIBRARY LOAN: Books, articles, and other research materials not accessible through the library's collections can usually be borrowed from other libraries through interlibrary loan. This service is free to Wartburg students, faculty, staff, and emeriti. Requests can be made online through ILLiad, the library's interlibrary loan system.
- WAVERLY PUBLIC LIBRARY: Due to the close proximity of the local public library, students have additional access to resources within walking distance. Public library cards are free with a Wartburg ID.
Vogel Library is vital part of the Wartburg community and strives to provide opportunities, resources, staffing, and spaces for this community to flourish. As an appreciative student pointed out, "The library is a great place not only for studying individually, but studying with a group for class, grabbing some coffee and banana bread, and free reading. The library definitely can help students achieve and excel during their time at Wartburg."